Guest post by my husband, Wayne…
I had a lot of nightmares as a kid. Some of them are burned into my memory to this day.
But since I grew old enough to learn that the traditional monster’s name was pronounced “BOOGIE Man” (I’d had it all wrong), my dreams generally fade from my memory with the morning light.
And unlike Joseph and his Technicolor Dreamcoat, I am not hot on dreams. On the odd occasion when I actually remember a dream after I wake up, I don’t try to figure out what it meant. I figure a dream could just as easily be the result of a bad shrimp, or a bowl of peanut butter ice cream before bed, as it is to possess a divine message.
And if one of my dreams was intended to impart some special wisdom, I’d never figure it out.
But you know what they say, right?
Never say never.
Because last year I had a dream that has stuck with me as vividly as any of my childhood dreams about the “Booger” Man.
And I know – beyond a shadow of a doubt – what it meant.
You know those dreams that start out so normal, so mundane, that at first you think they’re real?
This dream was like that.
It began with me walking into the house after a long day at the office. I called out to my family to announce my arrival as I do every day – you know, so they can drop everything and come running to greet their hero… the Slayer of Office Problems… proffering hugs, kisses, and joyous shouts of “Daddy!”
But that’s where the dream parted with reality.
Because no one came running to meet me.
Out of the ordinary, yes, but still not enough to recognize I was dreaming. In fact, even though things got – as you’re about to discover – pretty fantastical… I didn’t realize I was dreaming until I woke up staring at the green glow of my digital alarm clock.
In my dream… I heard Carey talking in the kitchen, so I set down my computer bag and went to go give my lovely wife a hug and a kiss. When I stepped into the kitchen, the scene that greeted me caused those intentions to be immediately forgotten.
Both our children were cringing behind Carey, who stood at the counter facing a Wok.
Yes, a Wok.
If nothing else should have let me know this was a dream, this should have been it; Carey never cooks Chinese.
I was frozen for a moment, as I watched a black, oily sludge rise up out of the Wok. It resembled a black cobra in shape, and though it lacked any detailed features – mouth, eyes, scales – I could sense a malevolence in it so thick I could almost feel it in the air.
The kitchen seemed suddenly smaller, closed in. A cage in which we were trapped like mice… waiting to be devoured.
I realized Carey was speaking to this evil presence, ordering it back to the pit of Hell from whence it came.
As she spoke, the snake-form receded back into the wok. But as soon as it settled, it would bubble up once more. I looked on as again and again, Carey would invoke the name of God, commanding the Wok-Thing to leave, only to watch it rise bigger and more menacing than it was before.
Our kids were crying.
Carey’s tone grew less commanding, more desperate.
It had less effect on the creature each time she attempted to drive it away.
Yet as the situation grew more hopeless, I failed to act.
And though I did nothing, I could feel a boldness rising up in me. At last… when all seemed lost, and the demon – for by now I knew it could be nothing else – threatened to overwhelm us… I stepped forward.
“In the name of Jesus, I command you, leave this place. You are not welcome here.”
I didn’t shout. I didn’t sound like Charlton Heston parting the Red Sea. My voice held neither the presence nor desperation of Richard Burton attempting to drive the Devil out of Linda Blair. There was no dramatic music to heighten the tension of the moment.
I simply spoke with quiet authority – authority that I knew was given to me – as the head of my household – by our Lord.
And the moment I did… the demon collapsed back in upon itself. It was nothing more than a bit of sludge, lying in a blackened Wok.
As one… my family turned towards me, smiles lighting not just their faces, but the entire room. The warmth and love I felt from their joint embrace was of such intensity that I’ll never forget it. I wanted it to last forever.
Of course, then my eyes opened and I was pulled into the pre-dawn reality of my bedroom.
Wide awake, I laid there, thinking about the dream, and I realized something about it.
I hadn’t been afraid.
When the demon rose up, I hadn’t been afraid.
When Carey couldn’t shout it down, I felt no fear.
When it threatened to overwhelm my family, I remained calm.
I have to be honest, I’m not exactly brave when it comes to matters of the supernatural. It’s something Carey has teased me about – and taken advantage of to scare the heck out of me – for years. The fact that I hadn’t been afraid of the Great Wok Demon – dream or not – seemed significant to me.
And as long as I’m being honest, I have to come clean.
Earlier, I said I knew what this dream meant. And while that’s true now, I didn’t know what it meant when I had it. In fact, I wasn’t even the one who God revealed the meaning to; he gave it to a friend of my wife after Carey shared the dream with her a few days later.
The way I see it, God used this friend to give me the meaning of the dream. I believe that will all my heart – because when the meaning was shared with me, it resonated.
It rang true in a way I can’t fully express here.
I’ve never felt like I was as spiritually mature is Carey.
I didn’t fully accept Christ until I was 37 years old. Conversely, Carey grew up in a home that took their faith much more seriously than did mine. Add to that the simple fact that Carey chases after God harder than anyone I’ve ever known – reading the Bible, writing about faith, speaking to groups of Christian women – and it’s no wonder I’ve felt my faith was inferior to hers.
But here’s what my dream meant:
I am the Spiritual Leader of my home.
That’s right. It doesn’t matter that my wife has been a Christian longer than I have. Or that she reads the Bible more regularly than I do. It doesn’t even matter that she goes out and evangelizes.
Despite all these things, Carey has not been called on to be the Spiritual Leader of our home. As the husband and father in our home, my prayers carry a special weight that Carey’s can’t.
I’d like to say that this revelation has made me turn to the Bible more frequently
Or that I’ve started reading more books about faith.
But I can’t.
What I can tell you is that I take prayer time with my family more seriously than I used to. I use it not only as a time to thank him for blessing us, but I take the opportunity to pray for His protection. I pray over rooms in our house – especially our children’s bedrooms.
And I know – beyond any doubt – that when the enemy sends his agents against my family, God has my back, and will lend me his sword.
Encourage your husband to step up and accept his God-given position as the Spiritual Leader of your home. Share my dream with him – because the message wasn’t just meant for me – but for him, too. But realize that in asking your husband to step forward, you have to let him.
… You have to step back.
And you thought I was only challenging him… didn’t you?
REALITY CHECK: Who is the spiritual leader in your home, and how do you feel about it?
Need ideas on how to raise Godly kids in today’s world? You can find some here.